Breach, Threat Management, Data Security

Jay-Z’s TIDAL streaming service discloses breach while denying number-fudging accusations

In denying accusations that it manipulated its subscriber statistics, Jay-Z-owned music streaming platform TIDAL instead has disclosed a potential data breach, according to various industry reports.

The Norwegian financial newspaper Dagens Næringsliv recently reported that the streaming service allegedly misled stakeholders and investors by inflatuing its streaming and subscriber numbers for Kanye West's “Life of Pablo” and Beyonce's “Lemonade” albums, resulting in millions of false plays and inequitable royalty payouts. To back up its claims, the report cited a forensic analysis of a hard drive containing internal TIDAL data.

In response, TIDAL CEO Richard Sanders flatly denied the allegations in a company statement and instead focused on the possibility of a breach incident, reported Music Business Worldwide.

“Although we do not typically comment on stories we believe to be false, we feel it is important to make sure that our artists, employees, and subscribers know that we are not taking the security and integrity of our data lightly, and we will not back down from our commitment to them,” said Sanders. “When we learned of a potential data breach we immediately, and aggressively, began pursuing multiple avenues available to uncover what occurred. This included reporting it to proper authorities, pursuing legal action, and proactively taking steps to further strengthen our stringent security measures that are already in place.”

Operated by the Norwegian firm Aspiro AB, a subsidiary of Jay-Z's British-American holding company Project Panther Bidco, TIDAL has also engaged with a third-party cybersecurity firm to review the case, Sanders stated.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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